Middle College provides alternative to high school

Lauren Stevens , Staff Reporter

College is on the horizon for many high school students; some tackle this challenge early through Middle College. This program is designed for high school students craving the flexibility and opportunity found in college settings.

Students take three classes with their Middle College peers: English, History and College and Career Readiness, a class designed to adjust them to college life. Students also take up to 11 units of college classes to gain college credit while completing their graduation requirements.

“I felt that Middle College would be a better fit because you get to choose what classes you take,” sophomore Matilda Montrose said. “It’s a more hands-off style of teaching. I’ll be guiding myself.”

Middle College is a tightly knit community. Students get to know one another as a class, and the small staff of teachers develop close bonds with their students.

Another benefit of Middle College is that students graduate with college credits or even an Associate’s degree.

“I want to get ahead [so I can] graduate and get my degree sooner,” sophomore Lillian Pottol said. “Graduating early will help me stand out.”

Middle College is a more independently motivated environment.

“I wanted to be responsible for my own education and I didn’t like being treated as if I couldn’t be,” said junior and former Sequoia student Emily Dornik.

For others, it’s not so great a match.

“I felt I was lazier at Middle College. I took advantage of the independence,” said current Sequoia senior and former Middle College student Conor McElligott.

Another opportunity for students who want to take college classes is “concurrent enrollment.” Students enroll in college courses, while still being Sequoia students.

“We have students who take concurrent enrollment classes for fun, or because they want to further explore a subject area we don’t offer here,” Sequoia counselor Melissa Perez said.

Programs like Middle College and concurrent enrollment allow students to broaden their academic options.